When I arrived at Dr. Euphonium’s lab, he was sitting at the curb holding what looked like a dark blue water pistol and staring moonily into space. “Dr. Euphonium?” I said, trying to get his attention. I had to repeat his name twice more to rouse him from his reverie.

“Salutations!” he exclaimed, clasping me roughly to his person. “A good morrow to you, Floyd of Gottfredson, sire of Denise and Jerome.”

“Hi,” I said. He thankfully unleashed me. Then he put an arm around my shoulder.

“My most heartfelt thanks to you good sir, for being so extraordinarily agreeable on caucusing at my domicile.” He beamed, turning me to face him, hands on my cheeks. This was especially weird.

“Have you been drinking from unlabelled test tubes again?” I asked. The last time he’d done this, he was arrested for hijacking the unicorn on the carousel.

“Balderdash!” he replied. “It is simply the magnificence of my latest contrivance. My most current of contraptions is so exquisitely conceived; you shall find yourself twitterpated into exultations of sincere pleasure. This,” he said, gesturing with the water pistol, “ is the Prose Purpler. Guaranteed to enflower, enrich, and fortify your vocabulary tenfold, even twentyfold.”

“Neat,” I said. “So, it’s like a liquid Word a Day calendar.”

“Indubitably. Simply one spritzy squirt sends you into sumptuous sunrises of sentences.” He sighed and leaned against the mailbox. Then, as if he suddenly noticed it was there, he patted it on the head like a dog and continued. “This concoction was most heavenly inspired by a creature of profound beauty, an angel in the guise of a civil servant. She delivers the post post haste directly into the very heart of my very soul. She invades my dreams with odes of rapturous awe, my being is a flitting ball of pure incandescence, an orb of ecstasy.”

“Wait,” I said, putting two and two together. “You mean you have a thing for Sally the mail lady?”

“A thing, a thoroughly thought-entrancing thing. I am awash in her indifferent gaze, agape at her industrial gray attire, aflutter by her bifocal spectacles. I am dangerously smitten, Gottfredson, dangerously smitten.”

“Well, you’re in luck,” I said. “Here she comes now.” Sally the mail lady was rounding the block on her way to the mailbox.

“She’s, uh, coming, I mean, she’s uh… uh…” Dr. Euphonium panicked, wiping his sweaty palms on his lab coat. “The Prose Purpler has worn off! I need a refresher!” He sprayed himself maniacally, dousing his face and hair in the elixir.

Meanwhile, Sally approached the mailbox, her stare as vacant as always.
“Hey,” I said.

“Yeah,” she replied. She did a take as she spotted Dr. Euphonium, head dripping with Prose Purpler, staring intently at her. He began sputtering rapidly, like a detuned radio, then began babbling incoherently.

“Present sari. My present you on the other hand see. Considerably month. Your eye the sky like the star which shines seems the way. Your smile seems like Milky Way method. Like Sunday that produces your surface. That is true solar system of beauty. Method you say with your track/truck which desires vis-a-vis the astronaut of the craving which and as for me as for me the possible your atmosphere that day of thing which floats, exactly AM that can catch and makes.”

Sally and I stared at the Doctor, who seemed just as confused by his words as we were. “You mind if I…” Sally mumbled as she placed the mail in the box. She turned and gave Dr. Euphonium another quizzical look, then said, “Later.” I waved as she left.

“Nice try, Romeo, but I think you overdid it on the word juice,” I said. “I gotta get back home and clean the garage anyway. Later.” As I walked home, I could hear Dr. Euphonium protesting in the same broken English.

“Floyd! Waiting! I must be helped. My prose went to puce from purple. I think of that I use the many liquids. Of are feeling and Floyd which understand the sari thought? Floyd!”


  1. If only the mailbox were a real dog – a seeing-eye dog, for example – I bet Dr. Euphonium’s words would have have touched the very heart of the very soul of that dog. Perhaps rather than speaking, though, he would need to post those words in a love letter to the mailbox dog.

    I’m not really sure what I’m talking about. I guess in that way, I can identify with Dr. Euphonium.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s